campbells soup company

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Endemic Branding.

Campbell’s Soup is one of America’s most famous and well-understood brands. It’s also known as one of the most economical meals in the country.  I’ve written a good deal about the Campbell’s Soup Company, especially so when they were moving into more healthy soups about 10 years ago.  Speaking of healthy, Campbell’s bought juice company Bolthouse Farms in 2012, which was a nice idea but not an endemic category. It didn’t work.  It was reported today, times are tough Campbell’s and losses are mounting. It is selling Bolthouse and considering selling the company.

Focus is what makes great brands. And Campbell’s is a soup company. A company that puts tasty, nutritious meals in cans. At low price points.  To get out of this hole the research and development people need to double down their efforts to recreate new soups.  New packages. New dayparts. New ingredients.

Pho. Stock. Bisque. Bouillon. Chowder. There are probably a hundred more types of soupy meals being served around the world today Campbell’s could consider. And another hundred they could invent. Bring David Chang in for a week. Or Katie Button.

Don’t think like Camden, NJ. Think like Asheville, NC. Mine your consumer care-abouts and brand good-ats. Peace.


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I’ve written before about Douglas Conant, the head of Campell’s Soup Company, who in my view is one of the smartest CEO’s in the business world. Click here. Here is another example of his marketing prowess.
Campbell’s just broke a new campaign for Select Harvest soups. I’ve seen only one print ad and one TV commercial, yet can tell you it is focused and has a powerful idea. Two actually. It takes on Progresso soups and MSG (monosodium glutamate.)   
The print shows two large soup cans with MSG above the Progresso can and TLC above Select Harvest. The copy uses words like “farm-grown,” “sea salt,” and “100% natural.” Very factual, hard hitting stuff. The TV is even better.  Simply produced, a young-ish blindfolded women sits at a table using her palette to determine the provenance of Select Harvest ingredients down to which side of the hill the mushroom field is facing. The spot must have cost $85,000.
When advertising makes you want to buy something or change your purchase behavior it usually starts with a clean, focused strategy.  Mr. Conant and his marketing team bring that type of focus to their marketing party. (Oh, BTW, Campbell’s soup sales are up 13% on the quarter.)

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